This very interesting surname can be either English or French. If English it is probably locational from the county of Cornwall. However as no definitive site has been found, unless it be Tremelling, meaning the house by the mill, near St Erth in Mid Cornwall, this remains unproven. What is known is that at least three thousand surnames of the British Isles are known to originate from 'lost' medieval villages, many of which were in the West Country. On that basis it seems a reasonable assumption that this is another to add to the growing list. However If French it is probably a diminutive of Trameau, and a nickname for a fisherman, or from Tramichel, meaning the house of St Michael. The tra being equiivalent to the Cornish tre. The surname seems to be recorded in a wide variety of spellings, and include Tramel, Trahmel, Tramell, Tremayle, Tremmel and others. Examples of known English recordings taken from surviving church registers include Paulus Tremmell at Kilkhampton, Devon, on February 27th 1545, and in the city of London Richard Trimnell, who married at St Martins Eastcheap, on April 3rd 1597. In France where recordings are generally found only after the famous Reveolution of 1792, we have Jacque Tramel at Le Frety, in the Ardennes, on December 29th 1794, and Jean Marie Francois Trahmel at Retiers, Ille de Villaine, on September 9th 1848. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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